Libertarian meat eater, right wing in the sense of conservative with a small c.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Libertarian Philosophy 101

I do like the Devil's view that Libertarian philosophy stems from the position that you own yourself. It's a position that is very hard to dispute because it turns other positions on their heads. How can you honestly argue against that and not justify slavery at the same time?

One of the attempts to square this unquadrilatable circle is to argue that while no individual may make a claim on another that is not freely entered into it is ethically possible for governments to make such demands. This position is abhorrent to libertarianism as shown by this quote from Daniel Klein, (Via EconLog):

"In the eyes of the libertarian, everything the government does that would be deemed coercive and criminal if done by any other party in society is still coercive. For example, imagine that a neighbor decided to impose a minimum-wage law on you. Since most government action, including taxation, is of that nature, libertarians see government as a unique kind of organization engaged in wholesale coercion, and coercion is the treading on liberty."

I view any demands backed by force that interfere with the liberty of the individual to be unethical unless they are made in order to protect the liberty of others, (Note to idiots - positive liberty is no such thing).

We have to accept that any society as large as ours requires some form of government but that it should interfere with our lives to the minimum degree, (hence minarchism). There is a constant creep of greater power going to those in government that must be either continually resisted or occasionally wound back which is both more difficult and more disruptive. Sadly, our successive governments have failed to uphold liberty and therefore we must reverse the slide or live as slaves of the state.

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